RE- 15 DAY ULTIMATUM, NOTICE OF 3 DAYS WARNING STRIKE
After an exhaustive appraisal of the outcome of the meeting between the federal ministry of health and the trade unions (JOHESU and the assembly of health professionals) yesterday, thursday 16th january, 2014; we have come to the painful but inevitable conclusion that there is no sign of sincerity and commitment on the part of the ministry of health and consequently the federal government, to address the longstanding injustices against our members, which has resulted in legitimate discontent and deepening industrial conflict.
You might wish to recall that we had issued a 15 day ultimatum on 12th december, 2013 which expired on 27th of december, last year. This culminated in a meeting between JOHESU and Government on Tuesday 7th January, 2014 to address the issue in dispute.
At the said meeting of tuesday 7th january, 2014 a communique was issued after arriving at an agreement and a 7 working day grace withiin which to implement the issues agreed upon was given to government.
Agonizingly, at the meeting of yesterday to reappraise the outcome of your minstry's implementation of the agreed issues, we found out that the ministry has virtually not succeeded in implementing any of the issues in contention, this is despite the fact that local branches of our unions had already commenced strike action to protest the non skipping of the CONHESS 10 which the national industrial court of nigeria had upheld in her judgement.
You have however once again demonstrated a consistent thread of insecurity in industrial relation.
Evidence of this could be seen inthe glaring failure to solve the following
1) Failure to promote our deserving members from CONHESS 14 - 15 as directgors in ine with the approved schemes of service. it is to be noted that we have signed series of agreements and memoranda of understanding on 10/5/12; 21/03/13; 22/08/13 and 8/01/14 respectively with the federal ministry of health to the effect that hospitals should stop the unjust stagnation of our unions members and promote them in line with extant statutory establishment schemes of service.
Where our members were to be promoted; what we have been seeing is the persisitnet flouting of the orders of your ministry by the management and boards of these hospitals with the active connivance of the federal ministry of health. The case of university college hospital ibadan that conducted interviews and promoted our members to the director cadres is another sordid attempt to ridicle and frustrate our members. The UCH management resorted to using terminologies, job description and reporting lines alien to approved schemes of service and civilised norms to subvert professional headship functions of our members with the obvious connivance of federal ministry of health. our repeated complaints to your ministry have been at best, ignored or even trivalized.
2) Failure of the federal government to issue circular for the proper placement of intern medical laboratory scientists on CONHESS 8 step 2 and CONHESS 9 post NYSC, Since 2007 despite due approval by the national council on establishments since march 2011. whereas the MOU signed with the federal ministry of health on 20th august, 2013 stated inter alia "it was agreed that the federal ministry of health should liasise with the ofice of the head of civil service of the federation with a view to obtaining necessary approval" for release of the circular, nothing has been done to that effect.
3) Failure of the federal govenrment to comply with the national industrial court of nigeria judgment on consultancy status and specialist allownace as consultants are clearly stated in establishment circular ref No.SMH.491/S.2/VOL/11/221 of 29th March 1976.
Ever since then both medical practitioners and our members who were teachers (lecturers) were being appointed as honorary consultants and paid appropriate remuneration. You will recall that in december, 2009, JOHESU succesfully negotiated a new specialist allowance to be paid to health professionals who are hospital based. While this allowance is being enjoyed by medical practitioners, our members are still being denied payment of same since 1st january, 2010 despite the ruling of the NICN of 22/07/2013, the agreement between the federal government and JOHESU on 26 to 27/8/2003 and MOU of 8/1/2014.
4) Failure to issue a circular and enforcement of the abolition of the position of deputy CMAC being illegally created by some tertiary hospitals. The scheme of service does not have this position in any of the schemes as an establishment position. This illegal creation is causing a lot of disaffection, disharmony and serious agitation among health workers. The various chief medical directors had created nursingworldnigeria.comthese positions, and had appointed only medical practitioners to fill such positions with salaries being drawn, cars and other juicy incentives attached to it and above all to usurp the functions of directors of various services.
Some hospitals have upto 6 D(CMACs) eg UCH ibandan where we have Deputy (CMAs;energy, ward, engineering etc. This is a waste of public funds. moreover, those who occupy this posts are honourary consultants whose primary place of assignment are the universities. The medical practitioners want to take over the headship of every department in the hospitals. JOHESU had incessantly drawn the attention of the federal government to this illegal position with out any redress.
5) Illegal and lopsided composition of boards of management of teaching / specialist hospitals/ federal medical centers in a delibrate attempt to sideline health professionals/ union in these institutions is a sour grape in our mouth. The boards of the teaching / specialist hospitals were constitutied without compliance with the enbling laws (Act CAP U15, LFN 2004, Section 2(1) and 2(1) f.
After series of agitation, the correction made still gave a particular professin undue advantage, to the extent that the numbers of board members are more than what is provided for in the act. Despite agreement reached that this would be reviewed , the situation remains the same.
6) The review of retirement age from 60 - 65 years was agreed upon since 10/5/2013 for workers in the tertiary health institutions like their counterpars in the tertiary health sector with whom they enjoy similar conditions of service without any conclusive positive action from government.
7) Failure of the federal ministry of health to comply with the NICN Judgement on the skipping of CONHESS 10 by our members. the federal ministry of health only issued circular that were not comolied with by the various tertiary health institutions and this situation is not aceptable.
CONCLUSION: Our display of good faith, patience, restraint and maturity on the above issues and other perennial cases of injustices has been taken for weakness by your ministry. In the light of these outlined acts of industrial violations, injustice and deprivations, our members across the length and breadth of the country has no other choice than to embark on a 3 day warning strike with effect from wednesday 23rd january 2014.
It is hoped that within now and the expiration of the warning strike, your ministry would avail yourself the time to fully implement all the issue in dispute.
Com (Dr.) Ayuba p wabba, Chairman Joint health sector unions
Com yusuf badmus W.G secretary, joint health sector unions
Dr. Godswill Okara Chairperson, assembly of healthcare professionals
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